Friday, May 21, 2010

Black sapote clafoutis

I'm not really out of my cooking funk quite yet, but two out of three of my black sapotes finally ripened and I did have an interesting recipe prepared for them so it didn't take too much to prod me into action.

So you probably want to know what a clafoutis is. From an American perspective, it's a French version of a buckle. You might also want to know what a buckle is. It's a dish in the crumble family. Depending on how you prepare the floury stuff that goes with the fruit, you can make a crumble, a crisp, a buckle or a grunt. For a buckle, you put your fruit on the bottom of a baking dish and pour over cake batter. For a clafoutis, the batter is closer to a crêpe: looser and eggier mainly.

Traditionally, clafoutises are made with cherries, but you do see them with other fruits, mainly tart berries. And if I had a reasonable amount of fruit to work with I'd whisk some lemon juice into the pulp and go with that. But I don't so I went with my black sapote back up plan which is to mix it 50/50 with a nut butter. Almond by preference, but peanut by what I've actually got on hand. In this case I mixed something like:
1/3 cup black sapote pulp
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon sugar.
That gave me enough for about a third of a standard batch of clafoutis so I scaled down.

That means the batter was:
a bit less than 1/3 cup flour
1/6 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 small pinch salt
1 egg
1 1/3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup milk [I used cream since I had some some]

As with crêpe batter, I mixed the dry ingredients, whisked in the egg, then the butter then the cream.

Then I poured the batter over dollops of the sapote mixture in a small baking dish and baked at 350 degrees for a half hour until browned and puffy.

I let cool to, if not room temperature, then at least not hot and served with a little powdered sugar or, as pictured, with cinnamon whipped cream.

The baking has brought out the chocolatier aspects of the black sapote, which is certainly not a bad thing in this context, although it makes the flavor a bit less Floridianly exotic. I had hoped the honey would have helped to boost the fruity flavors, but I guess not. The crumbly brownie-esque texture of the fruit mixture contrasts with the lighter moist sponge-cakey texture of the cake bit. Its milder flavor cuts the intensity of the fruit and is mildly sweet and a little eggy on its own. This is very different than how this dish would work with cherries, but it's pretty tasty in its own, heartier way. I'd like to try it with the sapotes unadulterated by peanut butter to see how it goes.

No comments: